King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Isaiah 59

Reproofs of sin and wickedness. (1-8) Confession of sin, and lamentation for the consequences. (9-15) Promises of deliverance. (16-21)

Isaiah 59 Audio:

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Reproofs of sin and wickedness

1 Behold, the LORD’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear:

2 But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear.

3 For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.

4 None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.

5 They hatch cockatrice’ eggs, and weave the spider’s web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper.

6 Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands.

7 Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.

8 The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace.

Confession of sin, and lamentation for the consequences

9 Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness.

10 We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noon day as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men.

11 We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us.

12 For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them;

13 In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood.

14 And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter.

15 Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment.

Promises of deliverance

16 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him.

17 For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.

18 According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence.

19 So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

20 And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD.

21 As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed’s seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Iniquities. The history of Susanna shews that the captives were not all free from sin, which alone prevented their liberation. Lam. iii. 44. C. — God is willing and able to save. He punishes for sin, to cause us to repent. v. 20. W.

Ver. 4. Justice. They arraign unjustly. None call upon the just God, but trust in idols. — Iniquity. They kill themselves, while they strive to injure others. Ps. vii. 15. Mic. ii. 1.

Ver. 5. Basilisk, or viper. C. — The young ones “burst through the viper’s sides.” Pliny x. 62. — So the works of the wicked are useless or destructive.

Ver. 8. Peace, or prosperity. They quarrel with all, and ruin themselves. Ps. xiii.

Ver. 9. Therefore. The wicked Jews nevertheless confess that their sins prove their destruction.

Ver. 10. Dead. The Jews will not recognize Christ, notwithstanding the prophecies and miracles.

Ver. 11. Judgment, that God would avenge us, (v. 9.) and regard our fasts. C. lviii. 3.

Ver. 14. In. Where truth is disregarded, there can be no justice.

Ver. 16. Himself, to arrest his arm, stretched out to chastise his son; or to second him. There is nothing in man to stop God’s vengeance. He therefore pardons out of his own goodness. C. lix. 2. and lxiii. 4. C. — He became man to redeem us, as no pure mortal could do it. W.

Ver. 17. Justice. None can blame his conduct.

Ver. 19. On. Heb. “is standard-bearer.” Aq. S. Jer. — Cyrus, the figurative redeemer, proceeds rapidly.

Ver. 20. To Sion. Sept. “from Sion, and will turn away iniquity from Jacob. (21) And this,” &c. H. — S. Paul hence proves that the Jews will at last be converted. Rom. xi. 26. The return of the captives prefigured this event. C.

Ver. 21. Covenant. Note here a clear promise of perpetual orthodoxy to the Church of Christ. Ch. — She hath still the spirit of truth. W. Mat. xxviii. 20. — None will apply this to the synagogue, which is visibly in the dark, and abandoned. C.